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Afternoon Must-Read: Noah Millman: Class Resentment, Class Treason and Political Consciousness

Noah Millman: Class Resentment, Class Treason and Political Consciousness: "[Reihan] Salam proceeds to lay out a detailed brief...

against the mass upper class in policy terms: from their support for unproductive tax breaks... mortgage interest deduction... restrictive zoning... cartel-preserving licensure requirements... a backwards immigration system that lets in nannies but keeps out doctors.... You can contextualize... [this] policy criticism Salam is making within a general libertarian critique... or... a general left-wing critique... (we need a class-based politics that doesn’t get hijacked by cultural politics)... both frameworks for talking about how to reduce the political influence of a favored class....

But Salam doesn’t make either argument. Instead, he’s says we need to guilt the upper middle class into being a more civically-responsible gentry.... There is no virtuous class out there. Contra William F. Buckley, a collection of random names from the Boston phone book would do a terrible job running the country....

Here in New York. Our Mayor, Bill de Blasio... is trying to yoke... [a] pro-development stance to an affordable housing plan... acting against precisely the entrenched class interests that Salam thinks are so problematic.... But his cultural politics line up perfectly with the kinds of liberals Salam knows dominate the mass upper class. Which matters more? That, it seems to me, is the question.

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